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Covington charity clinic receiving $10K grant to cover COVID-19 costs
Willing Helpers
Willing Helpers Medical Clinic - photo by Special Photo

COVINGTON, Ga. — A Covington nonprofit is among 25 free and charitable clinics nationwide to receive $10,000 grants to cover costs related to their response to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S.

Willing Helpers Medical Clinic in Covington was among two Georgia clinics to receive the grants.

It will be used to cover the cost of staff salaries related to extended clinic hours because of the pandemic, a news release stated. 

Willing Helpers is an appointment-only charitable medical clinic in Covington that offers healthcare services to those who have no insurance and are unable to pay for medical services, its website stated.

It serves Newton County residents ages 18 and older who have chronic illnesses, no health insurance, and household income within 200% of the Federal Poverty Level.

The clinic was founded in 2006 through the efforts of Solid Rock Baptist Church and local community doctors and nurses, the website stated. 

The grants are part of Americares’ global response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which has reached 26 countries with critically needed protective gear, training and emotional support for frontline health workers, a release stated.

Americares is the largest nonprofit provider of medical aid to organizations serving low-income and uninsured patients in the U.S. 

It provides medicine, supplies, education and training to a network of more than 1,000 partner clinics nationwide. 

Americares’ U.S. Program helps partner clinics increase capacity, provide comprehensive care, improve health outcomes and reduce costs for patients.

Americares awarded $250,000 to nonprofit organizations responding to the COVID-19 pandemic in the U.S. Twenty-five free and charitable clinics were each awarded $10,000 grants.

The funds will be used to purchase critically needed personal protective equipment, increase COVID-19 testing and screening capabilities, implement telehealth services, hire additional medical staff and offset the cost of other pandemic-related expenses. Health care providers in 16 states were awarded funding, including California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, Washington and West Virginia.

Americares sought funding proposals from its network of 1,000 partner clinics and organizations in the U.S. expanding access to health services in communities hard hit by the pandemic. 

Many of the projects will benefit patients disproportionally impacted by the virus, including Black and Hispanic patients, and patients experiencing homelessness.

With the rising numbers of families in poverty nationwide, the National Association of Free & Charitable Clinics reports 74% of clinics have seen an increase in new, unemployed patients inquiring about care since the start of the pandemic. 

At the same time, nearly two-thirds of clinics canceled planned fundraisers that provide critical operating funds, according to a recent survey of the association’s 1,400 member clinics nationwide.